Communities United seeks “Foreclosure and Eviction-Free Zone”

Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction is circulating an electronic petition (as well as paper ones) to create a Foreclosure and Eviction-Free Zone in the City of Chicago.

The current housing crisis is taking a toll on our families and our communities. Mass displacement due to foreclosures and evictions are being seen and felt by communities across the country. We believe that only a movement of people directly and indirectly affected can stop the crisis. Our goal is simple: Creating a people’s alternative to the current situation by ensuring that the threat of unjust foreclosure and eviction is lifted, that loan modifications promised by banks actually materialize, and by ensuring that the homes of residents and community members are not auctioned off or sold as “investments” – which add to the number of vacant and untended homes we see everyday.

Who We Are: Residents and community members of Rogers Park and other Chicago community areas – families and individuals, workers, taxpayers, consumers.

What We Want: A “People’s Bailout” in the form of a moratorium on all home foreclosures and unjust evictions in our communities. (The banks already got their multi-billion dollar bailout and still failed to work with homeowners in distress.)

Why? Housing is a human right – and is one of the three basic needs (food, clothing, and shelter) required for survival. Vacant and abandoned homes and apartments tear down the community by bringing crime, loss of business, and declining property values. We want to strengthen and unify our communities. We want to reinvest in the people and the economic and social life of our communities. ‘Land belongs to the people’ – Emiliano Zapata

Why now? Vacant houses and condos in Chicago amount to more than 12% of the city’s housing stock (US Census). In 2010, Chicago had more than 10,500 foreclosures and 95% of those remain vacant (Rahm Emanuel, press release, August 2011). This year 2012 is projected to bring thousands more evictions and displaced families. With soaring unemployment and record poverty levels, there is no end in sight for this crisis.

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